Menu Plan Monday – 08.09.10


I feel like I'm slowly getting a little more organized and like some sort of normal is being found…just in time for school to start, Tom's seminary classes to start up, dance and sports, and my brother's wedding in California in September.  


I'm a little bit excited and inspired this week, though. Tomorrow morning, I'm heading to church to weigh in the staff members who are participating in the FUMC Meltdown.  I'll also be doing some weekly posts starting tomorrow pertaining to food, exercise and weight loss…not that I'm any sort of expert.   I'm even working on a logo =)

Here's this week's menu…

Monday – Pork chops, roasted potatoes, broccoli

Tuesday – Veggie chicken pitas, tossed salad

Wednesday – Tacos, brown spanish rice, summer squash and onions

Thursday – Spaghetti (with spaghetti squash for me), salad, garlic bread

Friday – Indian spiced hamburgers, paneer and vegetable skewers

Saturday – French toast, sausage, berries

Sunday – Leftovers

A couple of new recipes this week – I'll be sure to share the veggie chicken pitas and Friday night's Indian-inspired recipes if we like them!

This post will be linked to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday,  Chive Talkin's Mindful Menus and Dining with Debbie's Whats on the Menu Wednesdays.  Looking for meal inspiration?  They're great places to visit!

Mindful Menus 

Menu Plan Monday – 05.24.10


I decided this week as I was working on my baking day and shopping lists that it might be easier to plan our meals out two weeks at a time.  I don't expect we'll stick to them exactly, but here's the goal:

Monday (5/24) - Easy Chicken Cacciatore, Brown rice or pasta, Green Beans (from the garden)

Tuesday – BBQ Pork Sliders, Corn, Coleslaw

Wednesday – Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus

Thursday – Chicken Chili Verde, Homemade Corn Tortillas, Sauteed Squash and Onions

Friday – Hamburgers, Corn, Salad

SaturdayWaffles, Bacon, Fruit

Sunday – Leftovers/On Your Own

Monday (5/31) – Lemon Rosemary Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans (from the garden)

Tuesday – Teriyaki Chicken, Brown Rice, Broccoli

Wednesday  – Fajitas, Homemade Tortillas, Salad

Thursday – BBQ Chicken, Potato Packets, Veg of some sort

Friday – Homemade Taquitos with Cheesy Bean Dip

Saturday – Omelettes, Bacon, Fruit

Sunday – Leftovers/On Your Own

I've got quite a few recipes to share this week, so I'll try to link them as I get them posted.

And because I have a tendency to only focus on dinners and sort of forget about breakfast and lunch, here are some options for those:

  • Breakfast – Breakfast or blueberry muffins, yogurt with granola, rice krispies, waffles
  • Lunch – sandwiches, soup, corndogs, quesadillas

This post will be linked to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday and Chive Talkin's Mindful Menus.  Looking for meal inspiration?  They're great places to visit!

Mindful Menus 

Baking Day Plans


 Time to fill the freezer again!  I'm going to try to do a little bit extra this month since we'll be heading out to California at the end of June.  Tom will be home a bit before the kids and I are, so I want to have a few things in the freezer to make it easier on him.  I've also got a few more actual meals I want to try this time.

Here's the list of regulars:

  • Beans (maybe pintos and kidney)
  • Brown Rice (I really should do a little tutorial on this – brown rice in the freezer is one of my biggest time/meal savers)
  • Breakfast Cake (double batch)
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • Banana Nut Muffins
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Waffle Mix
  • Teriyaki Chicken (I use an Iron Chef marinade we found at BJ's for this.  It's not too high in sugar or fake ingredients, but once it's gone I'm going to try making my own)
  • Fajita Steak
  • Tuscan Lemon Chicken
  • Tortillas (flour and corn)
  • Chicken Stock (overnight in the crock pot – that worked great last month!)
  • Sandwich Rolls

 And my test recipes (which I will of course share if we like them):

  • Pizza rolls (kind of like cinnamon rolls, but with marinara, mozzarella and a bit of chopped pepperoni – this is sort of a crazy idea I had the other day and I want to see how it works)
  • Chicken Cacciatore Penne
  • Chili Verde
  • Tex Mex Lasagna
  • Southwest Roll-Ups
  • South Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork
  • Giada's Marinara 

I think it's definitely going to be a two day endeavor this month!

Menu Plan Monday – 05.17.2010


It's our finish it up meal week, with a baking day planned for next weekend, so I might have to get a little creative!

Monday – tacos with homemade corn tortillas, corn on the cob

Tuesday – teriyaki chicken, brown rice, broccoli

Wednesday – pork chops, mashed potatoes and a light gravy, sauteed squash and onions

Thursday – fajitas, salad

Friday – pulled pork sliders (a new recipe I'm trying out for baking day), coleslaw (another test recipe), corn on the cob

Saturday – waffles, bacon, strawberries

Sunday – leftovers

This post will be linked to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday and Chive Talkin's Mindful Menus.  Looking for meal inspiration?  They're great places to visit!

Mindful Menus

Menu Plan Monday – 05.10.10


Did y'all have a nice Mother's Day?  I got my one wish, which was to not have to do any dishes =)

Tom grilled rib-eyes (really the only red meat I get excited about), crashed potatoes and asparagus, and it was lovely.  Handmade cards, a banner in the kitchen and general laziness completed a wonderful day.

I've got one new recipe to try this week, and if we like it I will be sure to share.  I did a little digging online last week and found a few new slow cooker recipes that feel a bit more warm weather friendly.  My plan is to try one a week for the next few weeks and hopefully find a few keepers.  I'm also planning our next baking day a week from Friday, and I'm planning a few new experiments for that as well.  I'm hoping to get enough done to get us through until we leave for California in late June, so I have a feeling it's going to be a two day push.

We're also a little corn heavy this week because it's in season locally, super cheap right now and we love it!

Here's this week's menu:

Monday – Orange Beef and Broccoli, Brown Rice

Tuesday – Lemon Rosemary Chicken, Corn, Salad

Wednesday – Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas, Black Bean Salad

Thursday – Slow Cooker Gyros, Whole Wheat Pita, sides to be determined

Friday – Hamburgers (with homemade light wheat buns), Corn, Zucchini Fries (a hold-over from last week)

Saturday – Waffles, Bacon, Fruit

Sunday – Quesadillas, Carrot Sticks (more homemade corn tortillas)

This post will be linked to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday and Chive Talkin's Mindful Menus.  Looking for meal inspiration?  They're great places to visit!

Mindful Menus

Menu Plan Monday – 04/26/10


Oh, it's going to be a crazy week again!  Caleb's birthday today, church Wednesday evening, a meeting for Tom Thursday evening and a concert Friday night.  In a funny way, posting this menu plan every week helps me get my schedule organized each week.  It also reminds me how thankful I am that I did a baking/prep day this weekend!

Here's this week's plan…

Monday – dinner out for Caleb's birthday.  I think he's finally chosen Buca di Beppo.  I'm excited about that, but I think I'm more excited about getting to celebrate with the Harwell's who are visiting from Athens to take Miss Molly to Disneyworld for the first time.

Tuesday - Lemon Rosemary Chicken Breasts, Roasted Potatoes, Salad (I think we've had this chicken once a week for the last few months – it's that good!).

Wednesday – Southwestern Style Roast Chicken with Black Bean and Corn Salad (my new recipe for the week).  If we like it, I'll be sure to share soon!

Thursday – Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice (the rice is already cooked and frozed and the chicken breasts are marinating in the freezer – just defrost and cook).

Friday – Hamburgers on Homemade Buns, Corn, Strawberries (corn is finally coming into season around here – I've been impatiently waiting for the last month).

Saturday – Waffles, Bacon, Pineapple (I'll try to get that waffle recipe posted this week – it's awesome!)

Sunday – Leftovers

This post will be linked to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.  Looking for meal inspiration?  That's the place to go!


The Baking Day Regulars (with recipe links!)

Picture 006

Today was my fourth round of baking days (although that picture was from my first a few months ago).  It's definitely getting easier – I seem to have found a flow and a rhythm that works really well for me.  Rather than shopping this morning like I normally do on a baking day, we were able to get it all done yesterday which worked out sooo great.  I was able to get beans, rice and muffins soaking overnight and threw a chicken in the crockpot to make stock… which saved me tons of time today and made it possible to get it all done in one day. 

I'm also finding that there are a few things that I do every month and for my own sanity, I'm listing them here with recipe links.  A few recipes are ones that I've been adapting, but haven't shared yet.  I'll try to get them up as soon as I can.

  • Brown rice (cooked, cooled and portioned into freezer bags – it freezes great!)
  • Black beans (same as above, except I just realized I didn't portion and freeze yet)
  • Tuscan Lemon Chicken (someday I'll try the Herbs de Provence one, but this one is sooo good)
  • Pork Chops (basic – olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic…sometimes I add a little lemon)
  • Fajita Steak (a long time favorite of ours)
  • Orange Beef and Broccoli (not well planned on my part.  The goal was to get the meat cut and bagged, and then to also get the marinade made and frozen but I didn't have all of the ingredients.  Next time!)
  • Chicken stock and cooked chicken
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (made with whole wheat flour and coconut oil so they're a bit more nourishing)
  • Breakfast Cake (in muffin form)
  • Blueberry Muffins (I'll try to get these shared soon)
  • Apple Walnut Muffins (a new recipe that was awesome with my experimentation)
  • Waffle Mix (all but the wet ingredients, which are written on the bags)
  • Tortillas (another one I need to share)
  • Sandwich Rolls (trying to get a little photo tutorial done on these one of these days!)

I put most things in freezer bags, portioned out for one dinner for our family of 4 and sometimes add in a bit extra for planned leftovers or lunches later on.  The key to success for me has been making sure I jot down every single bag in my Homemaking Binder.  It's also helpful to have a weekly meal plan, and to keep it posted somewhere I see all the time.  Knowing what we're having over the next few days makes it easier to make sure I have dinner components pulled out in advance to thaw in the fridge.

When I look at the list like that, it really doesn't seem like I did all that much.  There aren't any complete meals, but they are more than enough to give me a big head start!

Menu Plan Monday – March 21, 2010


I am in such a Spring mood latley!  The windows have been open, the grass is greening up a bit and I have this crazy need to pull everything out of the cupboards and clean.

That last one will probably pass fairly quickly =)

On this week's menu plan, lots of easy and lots from the freezer.  This weekend will be another baking one and there are a few things I want to get eaten before we fill the freezer back up.

Monday – Tacos, Spanish Rice, Squash

Tuesday – Meatloaf, Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

Wednesday – Chicken and Pastina Soup and Homemade Bread

ThursdayFajitas, Black Beans

Friday – Hanna's Cooking

SaturdayPancakes, Bacon, Strawberries

Sunday – Leftovers

Don't miss this give away for Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris!

This post will be linked to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.  Looking for meal inspiration?  That's the place to go!

Baking Day 2 Plans

Last month's baking day was  a huge success.  There are still a few things in the freezer (mostly marinated or prepared meats), we had baked goods to last us through the entire month and meal planning was so much simpler!  I'm planning on

I'm getting ready to do it again this weekend, and here are my plans:

  • Blueberry muffins
  • Banana or pumpkin muffins (adapted with whole wheat, spelt or brown rice flour)
  • Breakfast cake (a total hit from last time, but I'm going to try making these as muffins this time)
  • Homemade almond milk (a test recipe, not a bulk one)
  • Sandwich rolls
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough  (this was a huge hit – and there were just enough dough balls for fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookies once a week)
  • Marinated chicken (maybe these)
  • Marinated pork chops (some with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and others with fresh squeezed orange juice added to the mix)
  • Marinated steak fajitas
  • Chicken stock
  • 4 dozen tortillas made and cooked  (testing out a new recipe from Rick Bayless, which has been saved on our DVR for the last 3 weeks – I'll share if we like it better than our current one)
  • Brown rice
  • Beans
  • A  few thoughts:

    • meal components and baked goods definitely work better for us than actualy frozen meals.  The more complete a dish has been, the less likely we've been to eat it.
    • marinating meat as it comes home from the grocery store = brilliant!  I just pull it out of the freezer a day or two before it's on our menu…all I have to do after that is cook it.
    • I spent a little under $500 on all groceries and toiletries last month for our family of 4.  It should have been just enough to feed us, but we ended up eating out more than usual due to stresses and the tax return.  This month will be a lot tighter, and I'm adding in my first raw milk and some pastured meats.  That eating out has to stop!

    Menu Plan Monday – February 22, 2010


    It's a sort of clean out the leftovers week before I take on another baking day this weekend.

    Monday – Tuscan lemon chicken, roasted potatoes, carrots and onions

    Tuesday –  Pork Chops, brown rice, broccoli

    Wednesday – Burritos, Fruit (before church)

    Thursday – Crock pot chicken, mashed potatoes, whatever random vegetables are left in the fridge!

    Friday – Waffles, strawberries, bacon

    Saturday – Tacos (baking day)

    Sunday – leftovers

    Need more meal planning ideas?  Head on over to!